Prepositional wars: When ideology defines preposition

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The paper examines the changes in the distribution and connotations of Russian prepositional phrases <i>na Ukraine </i>vs. <i>v Ukraine </i>triggered by the acquisition of independence by Ukraine. Background information about the distribution of constructions in 19–20th century Russian and Ukrainian is provided. The importance of the prepositional construction in the context of the language policy of Ukrainian state is stressed, and the changing norms of contemporary Russian exemplified. It is argued that while retaining its dominance in oral speech, the constructions <i>na Ukraine </i>(Russ.) and <i>na Ukra&#1111;ni </i>(Ukr.) ceased to be stylistically unmarked, and both <i>na Ukraine </i>and <i>v Ukraine </i>became indexical of socio-cultural identities and value-conferring.


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